As I sit to write this my father, who has had numerous health issues over the last several years, is lying in a Fort Lauderdale hospital bed. My parents were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary with a Caribbean cruise. Since this isn’t his first rodeo, I find myself wondering how many more second chances he’s going to get. I’m sure that his current situation will be remedied enough for him to find his way back home, but it is once again turning my mind toward the fragility of life.
With greater medical knowledge and more sophisticated diagnostics and treatment technology available we, perhaps, are a bit too spoiled. Many conditions and diseases that once struck terror in the hearts of patients and their families can now be completely controlled or alleviated with little to no impact on life expectancy. Thank God for doctors and medicine.
I understand that all of these advancements have come at the cost of a harried pace of life and increased stress levels. We run about from project to project, barely slowing down enough to shovel fast food down our gullets. The cost of living keeps going up, but at what cost to the living?
I admit, that I am a lazy eater. I don’t often take the time to make sure I’m getting the proper nutrition; I should. I do exercise regularly and vigorously, which is one piece of the puzzle, but I do need to work on a proper diet.
Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not you own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (ESV). Admittedly, this selection is from a passage in which Paul is addressing sexual immorality. But the fact that we house the Holy Spirit still remains. I am as guilty as anyone. We need to honor God with our bodies.
It’s so easy to put off until tomorrow the things that should be done today with regard to our health and our bodies. We bring no honor to God when we take our lives for granted. We offer tainted praise when we neglect one of the first gifts that He gave us, our bodies.
There is no excuse for us to run our bodies into the ground like a 25-year old automobile. It’s age, and ours, does not necessarily come with a worn-out motor. A 25-year old car can run for many more years if it’s taken care of. And so can we.
Today is the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday. I wasn’t raised in a church that celebrated Lent. In fact, I’ve been attending a church that does celebrate Lent for 15 years or so and still didn’t know what it was about until I actually looked at the Wiki last night! It’s about the 40 days Jesus spent in wilderness, fasting before being tempted by the devil. I can respect the concept. For the next 40 days leading up to Easter, I challenge you to look more deeply at your own lifestyle. Do you need to change your dietary habits or your exercise habits? Or do you need to step back from some things that are taking up too much of your time (and life!)? Ask the Holy Spirit, within you, to show you what you need to change to honor His temple. Then listen. Then obey.
Don’t take your life for granted. Glorify God with your body!